The Silent Caucus

In order to solve an unexplained dispute between two opposing factions of masked antagonists, Faraday must assemble an airplane engine or be dissolved in acid.

Plot Summary

This episode opens on a still overhead shot of a room in the complex. Faraday enters from the left, walking slowly, and comes to a stop in the center of the frame. A garbled voice is heard, presumably from off-screen, and Faraday exclaims, "not with my trusty pocket knife, you won't!" as he pulls a switchblade from his pocket. A spear flies into the frame from the right, seemingly striking Faraday, who cries out and falls off screen. The opening sequence then plays as normal.

Once the opening sequence ends, the episode cuts to Faraday, now underwater with a large Bowie knife in his mouth, swimming in what seems an underwater cave, tense music playing. After a few seconds, he comes to a large hole that appears blasted in the rock wall and swims through. He emerges in a cavern and climbs out of the water (which is clearly an above-ground pool poorly painted to look like stone). As Faraday stalks away (inexplicably holding a flashlight), the camera zooms on the pool, which bubbles ominously.

While creeping through the caverns, Faraday comes across a mysterious glyph carved on the rock wall. While studying it intently, the camera pulls back to show a mole-man slowly lumbering behind him. After an extremely prolonged shot of the mole-man's approach, it finally attacks Faraday. A lengthy battle ensues, finally ending when Faraday bludgeons the mole-man with a rock.

Faraday then comes to a narrow ledge, presumably over a chasm. With great trepidation, he creeps along the edge, his back to the wall. He makes it halfway across before tripping over his own feet. Faraday lets out a long, piercing scream, which continues for several seconds after he very clearly falls on a mat that is not entirely off screen. The camera cuts to show Faraday landing on a table about which are seated three men in strange outfits. The men are wearing red jump suits and red helmets with mirrored, featureless facemasks. On top of the helmets, they are wearing white 18th-century judge wigs, and the man in the center has gold epaulettes and other finery. The three men leap up, and similarly-dressed guards without wigs rush in and grab Faraday. The camera jump cuts to Faraday in a witness box, the three wigged men sitting in the judge's position in a full courtroom built in the cavern. Many other masked men fill the room, sitting in bleachers, and one paces back and forth in front of Faraday.

What follows is an extended scene wherein Faraday is presumably questioned by the man in front of him, but none of the masked men speak. Through the masked men's hand gestures, sound effects, and Faraday's responses, it is implied that the masked men are using telepathy to communicate. The prosecutor gestures emphatically, presents documents, and generally badgers Faraday, who replies frustradely with phrases such as, "Why, I've never even heard of Perturbinium," "the giant's coin never spoke," and, finally, with great intensity and accompanied by a musical sting, "I already told you: HE. WASN'T. EGYPTIAN."

The camera then cuts several times between Faraday's stern face and the judges apparently deliberating, the audience animatedly conversing telepathically. Finally the head judge slams his fists on the table and the room shakes; he points one finger at Faraday. The camera slowly zooms on the pointing judge, then cuts to Faraday being manhandled down stone stairs by two masked men. Faraday exclaims, presumably to the men: " AIRPLANE ENGINE?" and "What? Or else what?!" They shove him into a room with a large table, covered in mechanical parts. As Faraday looks around, he sees a pool in one corner, full of bubbling acid. He gulps nervously to himself and then squares his shoulders and walks to the table. A montage of Faraday assembling the engine ensues, interspersed with him looking at the acid pit and gulping nervously. Halfway through the montage, the music abruptly changes mid-song, from tense and ominous to an up-beat pop-rock instrumental. The montage ends, and Faraday, looking pleased with himself, has one final screw to put in place. Just as he's about to fit the screw in, the hallucinogenic gas pours out of the screw hole and Faraday loses consciousness.

In the gas montage, Faraday is crawling through what seems to be a sewer, where he comes across a large open chamber in which a group of robed alligator-men are practicing some sort of ceremony. Faraday watches with horror as the ghastly ritual proceeds, then suddenly trips and falls into the chamber. Just as he hits the ground, the camera cuts to Faraday sitting in a circus. The crowd is entirely in the dark and only Faraday can be seen. The camera cuts between tight shots of Faraday's confused and worried face and various circus animals, whose cries have been dubbed over with the sound of a speeding car. The montage then cuts to Faraday in a dusty lab, packed with equipment. He wears a lab coat and black rubber gloves, and laughs maniacally as he connects two power cables. Electricity courses through the cables and the lights flash, and a large robot sits up behind Faraday.

Faraday regains consciousness in the cockpit of a one-seat airplane. He cries out, "going... to crash! Got to... pull up!" He flails around for a short time, then reaches under his seat to find a silver parka capsule. The action theme swells, as a lengthy suiting-up scene plays out. After a number of minutes, Faraday finally grabs the controls. The camera immediately cuts to a shot of the aircraft crashing directly into the ground, exploding in a massive fireball. It then cuts back to Faraday, who lowers his hands from eyes and realizes he's still alive; the window of the plane is displaying television static. Confused, he opens the door and emerges (mysteriously without the action parka), to see that he's actually in a crude flight simulator. He soon makes up his mind to leave and cautiously sneaks down a number of corridors. Eventually he pauses and remarks, "feels like I'm being watched... but from where?" As he leaves, the camera pulls back to reveal one of the masked men watching him from behind a previous corner. The music builds as the masked man checks his weapon, and as the score reaches a crescendo, he removes his helmet to reveal Faraday's face underneath.


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